FAIR LAWN, NJ — Columbia Bank Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey, and Blankets of Hope, have once again teamed up to make a difference in the lives of the homeless and other New Jerseyans in need, by wrapping the less fortunate in the comfort of warm blankets. In total, 1,536 Blankets of Hope were gifted to community members at shelters, military clubs and other nonprofit organizations, to help uplift spirits and offer compassion.
Purchased by the Columbia Bank Foundation, the blankets were distributed to several Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey chapters, where children participated in Blankets of Hope’s “Kindness Workshop.” Youths were led through an empathy exercise to imagine what it’s like to experience homelessness, then created colorful, handwritten notes of hope, love and encouragement to pair with each blanket. The gifts were then delivered to local shelters and other organizations.
“Columbia Bank and the Columbia Bank Foundation are always seeking meaningful ways to give back to the New Jersey community. We were thrilled to continue our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey and Blankets of Hope, and assist with a program that’s truly rewarding on so many levels,” said Allyson Schlesinger, executive vice president and head of consumer banking for Columbia Bank, and board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Columbia Bank Foundation for once again providing grant support to facilitate the Blankets of Hope program. This meaningful project engaged club youth at Boys & Girls Clubs across New Jersey in an impactful service-learning experience focused on empathy and kindness. We want to thank the Columbia Bank team members for continuing this rewarding experience at Boys & Girls Clubs in local communities,” said Susan Haspel, state director for Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey.
Blankets of Hope founder Michael Fiorito said, “Thanks to the continued support of the Columbia Bank Foundation, there will be endless ripples of hope, love and kindness spreading through New Jersey for years to come.”
Photos Courtesy of Columbia Bank Foundation